A Conversation With Col. Deb Lewis, USA (Ret.)


Col. Deb Lewis, USA (ret.), enjoyed a trail-blazing 34-year career in military leadership. Since her retirement from Army life in 2010, she has served as an inspirational keynote speaker and coach who understands the essence of group dynamics. Throughout her remarkable military career, Col. Deb served successfully at every level as a “Battle-Tested Leader” whose subordinates in Iraq called her a "Caring Leader" who worked tirelessly to help them succeed.

Col. Deb is the co-creator of the Infinite-Win Approach to Relationships. Together, Col. Deb Lewis and CEO Deb Boelkes offer a unique woman leader perspective. Their Infinite-Win approach reintroduces empowerment, joyful collaboration, and respect and appreciation for each other in everyday settings. As a retired disabled-American veteran and military spouse herself, Col. Lewis well understands what it takes to REALLY help others so that everyone can win.

Additionally, Col. Deb serves as an affiliated faculty member and advisor to the Chancellor, Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs and Dean of the College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resource Management at the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

Earlier in her career, Colonel Deb courageously cleared an unconventional path, serving in numerous leadership and followership positions. She entered the US Military Academy at West Point in 1976 as a member of its first class with women. She steadily rose through the ranks of the US Army Corp of Engineers, commanding three army engineer districts from 1998 to 2007 and led a $3 billion reconstruction program during combat in Iraq.

While serving in uniform, Col Deb taught at West Point, earned a Harvard MBA and earned her Masters of Science degree from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces (ICAF) War College.

In 2010-2011, she served as the CEO (Chief Everything Officer) of a year-long, fifty-state cycling tour dedicated to educating and inspiring Americans to support veterans, the military and their families.

Col. Deb and her husband, Doug Adams, reside in Hilo, Hawaii. They have three grown children.


Heartfelt leaders don't want attention?

In this video, Col. Deb states that the people who have most influenced her leadership style "definitely don't want attention drawn to them", yet they were powerful and exemplary leaders in their own right, certainly deserving of attention. 

Think about the people who have most influenced you and your leadership style. How would you characterize them? Do you think they might want recognition for what they did to bring out the best in you?



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